What I Learned: 2010 APL Champion Lion


Lion Kim claimed the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links title at Bryan Park and Conference Center in Greensboro, N.C., last summer. (Robert Walker/USGA)
By Evan Rothman
April 18, 2011

Lion Kim explains to freelance writer Evan Rothman what he learned and what it meant to win the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship last summer at Bryan Park Golf & Conference Center in Greensboro, N.C. 

 

What’s funny is the week before the Publinx, my dad and I were talking about how it’s tough to love the game and have the drive to work hard when you’re not seeing results. I was pretty down. Even though I’d been consistent, I hadn’t won a tournament in seven years. If you’re not winning tournaments, it’s no fun. My dad and I were discussing how, if golf isn’t what I want to do, I need to figure out what I want to do after college. The win took me from zero confidence in my game to having a full commitment to playing golf in the future.

(On the seven-plus hour weather delay)

The seven-hour rain delay in the finals was the turning point for me. I took a few naps, listened to my iPod, talked to my parents and read a few pages from To Kill A Mockingbird for class. It all kept me relaxed and loose.

(On the other players engraved on the trophy)

Trevor Immelman’s name leaped out at me on the trophy. He’s a major champion now, a Masters champion. To realize a major champion is on that trophy, it’s humbling to see my name on there, and an honor.

(On playing the final hole after official sunset)

How do you putt in the dark? Use your feet for feel and just commit to whichever line you pick.

(On his role models)

I started golf in 2000, the year that Tiger was absolutely dominating. But I looked up to Zach Johnson. We have the same instructor, Mike Bender, and I’ve known Zach from when he was on the mini-tours. We have a pretty similar game—and now he has a green jacket.

(On his unusual first name)

Kim is a very popular last name, like Smith here in America. My dad wanted my name to stick out a bit. Lion Kim sounds similar to Lion King, and it’s very easy to remember. I’m sure he was thinking about Tiger Woods, too, but he didn’t name me thinking I’d be the next Tiger Woods. He’s smarter than that.

(On his desire to be the best)

My dad has told me many times that no success comes without hard work.

If golf is your dream, never give up on it.

Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image